The largest Filipino food festival in North America is hitting the streets of Toronto this weekend for the sixth year in a row, and the food looks so delicious! Taste of Manila Toronto will feature classic Filipino dishes, entertainment, fashions, and more. The widely popular event will close down Bathurst Street on the corner of Wilson Avenue this Saturday, August 17 and Sunday, August 18 from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.
What's more, admission to this tasty festival is completely free! Described on its website as "a cultural window into the heart and spirit of the Canadian-Filipino community," this is one summer food festival you won't want to miss!
A big crowd is expected, so arriving early at the festival is probably a good idea. Past years have drawn crowds as big as 350,000 people, and Justin Trudeau was even among the guests and cooks at the 2016 festival.
Executive Director for Philippine Legacy and Cultural Alliance, Teresa Torralba, says while there is an abundance of tasty food items for everyone to enjoy, some treats require a little bravery.
"Filipino street food regulars like pork and chicken barbecue and on the wild side, Isaw. Isaw is not for the faint-hearted, this is cleaned, grilled chicken intestines, and one of the beloved street food in the Philippines," Torralba explains.
The corner of Bathurst and Wilson, where the event takes place, has become a central hub for Toronto's thriving Filipino community, according to the Taste of Manila website.
"This area is referred to as the main watering hole of the vibrant, hard-working Filipinos in Toronto," the website reads. "The Filipino population continues to grow in Toronto and this is one place where Filipinos no longer are the visible minorities. The friendly, fun-loving Filipinos are simply everywhere."
Festival attendees will have the chance to soak in plenty of Filipino culture during the two-day festival. You can enjoy unique and authentic treats like Maiz con Hielo (a creamy drink with shaved ice, condensed milk, and corn kernels) or even balut (a boiled, developing bird embryo). Fashion and fabrics will be a huge part of the festival, according to the Taste of Manila website.
"Philippine fashion is considered one of the festival highlights as signature and upcoming Filipino designers promote the fabrics of the Philippines to mainstream Toronto."
Performances by a number of Filipino artists will take place on the evening of the 17th, with a few additional performances on the following afternoon. A full entertainment schedule is available on The Filipino Channel website.
"As diverse the food offerings are in this event, so are the genres of music entertainment that is being infused into the celebration of Filipino and Filipino Canadian cultures here in Toronto," says Torralba
Taste of Manila
Price: Free Admission
When: Saturday, August 17 to Sunday, August 18
Location: Bathurst and Wilson streets, Toronto
Why you need to go: From flavourful grilled meats to ice cream-based treats with corn kernels, you can indulge yourself with delicious Filipino treats as you spend the day immersed in the rich Filipino culture!